Complex Thoughts Simple Explanation Shankaracharya

Thoughts in Indian Philosophy and questions raised are very complex.

It delves deep into the subject , not just skims over.

The World , to be known, has two elements or two things.

The Observer and The Observed.

We are the Observers and all other things are the ‘Observed’

On our side, The Observer, we have the following .

The five sense organs,Eyes,Ears, Nose, Mouth and Skin (body, tactile)-5

Five acts of perception, seeing,tasting etc.(Eyes register Image, they do not experience; to explain  one may have eyes but can not see;the act of seeing is different from ‘seeing’) -5

It calls for abstract thinking of the highest order.

However, the Upanishads and Commentator of the of the Upanishads(among other things), Shankaracharya travel that extra mile to make it simple

for every one to understand.

On Reality.

One of the most difficult concepts to follow is the concept of Brahman the ultimate Reality.

It is described as without qualities ,Attributes.

How does one describe something,which has Nothing to describe?

The Upanishads follow the ‘Neti Nyaya’- Not this, not This.

The reality , Brahman  is described as,

Neither small, nor Big,

Neither short, nor Long,

Neither male nor Female,

…… this goes on.

Now if this seems to be tough, try this one.

The Individual Soul, Jiva appears to be different from the  One, due to ignorance, but once Ignorance is removed, it becomes one with the Brahman.

How is this explained by analogy by the Upanishads, and by Shankaracharya.


Take a Pot.

What is inside?


What is outside the Pot?


Now break the Pot.

Where is the Air inside the Pot and where is the Air that was out side?

The outside air is Brahman , the inside air is Jiva, individual Soul.

On The Illusory Nature of the world-Shankaracharya.

You are traveling  during twilight in a single track in a Forest.

You find a rope. .

In the twilight, you assume it is a Snake and you are scared.

You shine a Light on it only to find it is Rope ,not a Snake.

Now which is true?

The Rope?

The Snake?

Shankaracharya explains.

Though the perception of Rope as a Snake is false, it was true till you switched on the Light.

You were scared.

So, At that point of Time, it  was/is true.

Once it was seen in the Light, it is found to be false.

Now The Rope is found to be true.

Where was it when you saw the Rope.


The world is real as you experience it, till your ignorance leaves you .

The Brahman , Reality dawns when you are without Ignorance.

So the Reality and the world of names and forms are both Real at the same time.

Yet the Brahman, Reality, Brahman is more Real as the air out side the Pot.

So the world is Illusory , yet one has to live through it .

That’s Shankaracharya!

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